Q: What are the guidelines for the vaccine in the gay population?
A: The vaccine is strongly recommended for gay and bisexual men and men through the age of 26. The vaccine is most effective when given at a younger age and before a person has had many sexual contacts.
Q: How effective is the vaccine in the gay population?
A: The protection against HPV infection is the same in the gay and heterosexual men. Both heterosexual and gay men who will benefit most from the vaccine are those people who have not been exposed to those strains in the vaccine to which they have not been previously exposed.
Q: Why are gay men being strongly encouraged to get the vaccine?
A: Gay men on average have a greater number of risk factors that can predispose them to increased chances of HPV infection, which includes both genital warts caused by the low risk strains and HPV-related cancers related to the high-risk strains. The cancers of the anus and rectum which occur in gay men are more aggressive and resistant to treatment than those observed in the heterosexual population.
Q: What are the risk factors for HPV that are observed more frequently in the gay population?
A: Gay men have a greater number of sexual partners and practice high-risk sex more frequently than in the heterosexual community.
Q: What is the incidence of HPV-related infections in the gay compared to the heterosexual community?
A: Genital warts are extremely common in the gay community and occur more frequently in gay men than in heterosexual men.
Q: What are the advantages to be vaccinated for a gay man?
A: Gay men who have been vaccinated have a statistically significantly decreased chance of getting genital warts as well as precursors to anal cancer. The social and psychological advantages of getting the vaccine are similar to those for straight men.
Q: What is the incidence of genital warts in the gay population?
A: Genital warts are common in the gay community, and they occur much more frequently than in heterosexual men.
Q: How does the frequency of anal and rectal cancers in gays compared to heterosexual men?
A: The risk of anal and rectal cancers is 30x greater in gay HIV negative men compared to heterosexual men. The incidence of anal and rectal cancers in the HIV+ population is 80x greater than in heterosexual men.
Q: Is the direct benefit to gays to get vaccinated greater than for the heterosexual male population, given the significantly higher occurrence of genital warts and anal and rectal cancers in gays?
A: Yes. Gays are a high risk group for getting HPV infections.